The head of a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the latest person to congratulate an NHS Trust on breaking out of ‘special measures’.
Dr Nicholas Small, chairman of Herts Valleys CCG, noted the significant improvements made by West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which recently underwent a positive inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
He praised the efforts of the staff, executive leadership and volunteers, and acknowledged that it was particularly impressive “at a time when hospitals are under such heavy pressure”.
The CQC decided to lift the trust out of special measures after witnessing evidence of a “positive culture” and “strong, supportive and visible leadership”.
Despite this good news, there is still room for progress, something that was noted by Dr Small.
The trust as a whole was rated as ‘requires improvement’, though it is considered ‘good’ when it comes to caring.
Watford General also ‘requires improvement’ despite a number of its departments being classed as ‘good’ by the CQC. A similar pattern was seen at St Albans City Hospital and Hemel Hempstead Hospital.
And Watford’s urgent and emergency department was deemed ‘inadequate’ due to concerns over safety, responsiveness and leadership.
Dr Small added: “The CCG looks forward to working with the trust through the next phase, including sustaining the improvements already made and also in the areas that still require improvement, particularly urgent care.
“We are already working with the trust in the areas identified as needing improvements, specifically eliminating mixed sex accommodation and maintaining infection control standards in outpatient rooms and some medical wards.
“We will support the trust to ensure improvements are made in order that good quality and safe care is received by all patients across the trust.”